MEC Grant Supports Compensation for Schools for Fee Exempt Learners | Western Cape Government


MEC Grant Supports Compensation for Schools for Fee Exempt Learners

8 November 2009
"In an Open, Opportunity Society for All, every learner has the opportunity to realise his or her full potential through access to a good education. Therefore, I wholeheartedly support the continued access to quality schooling for learners who cannot afford to pay their school fees," said MEC Donald Grant on Monday.

The MEC was responding to recent reports stating that a draft policy on the compensation of schools from the state, for poor learners who are exempted from paying school fees, would be published in the Government Gazette shortly.

"From the moment I took office, I have supported initiatives for a system that compensates schools for exempted school fees," said Grant.

"We can't ignore the fact that we are living in tough economic times. In this kind of climate, many parents simply cannot afford to pay their school fees, thus affecting school income."

Grant said that it is unrealistic to expect schools to fund themselves at a significant level if there is no compensation for legally determined fee exemptions.

"It must be remembered, the ability of schools to raise fee income is an essential part of retaining quality in the public education system. However, where parents generally cannot afford to pay fees, the state has a duty to assist the schools, as proposed in this draft policy. For these reasons, I have always supported national initiatives to put in place such a system for fee compensation, and have participated fully and constructively in discussions with the National Department for Education and the Council for Education Ministers (CEM) in this regard," he said.

"I welcome the confirmation at national level that the necessary amendments will be made to the relevant legislation and policy to enable the provinces to compensate the schools concerned. I have requested that this be placed on the next CEM agenda so that the proposal is fast tracked for implementation, by the latest, September 2010."

Grant said that 55% of schools in the Western Cape were still paying school fees. The rest have been declared "no-fee" schools.

"The proposed compensation will be of particular benefit to fee-paying schools serving poorer communities in the Western Cape."

Media Enquiries: 

Bronagh Casey
Ministry for Education
Western Cape
Cell: 072 7241 422
Tel: 021 467 2377